Michael Carrick recalls what David Moyes said to the Man Utd players in his early days

David Moyes was handed a six-year contract as Manchester United manager when Sir Alex Ferguson stepped down in 2013.

“We unanimously agreed on David Moyes,” said Ferguson. “David is a man of great integrity with a strong work ethic. 

“I’ve admired his work for a long time and approached him as far back as 1998 to discuss the position of assistant manager here.

“There is no question he has all the qualities we expect of a manager at this club.”

Ten months later, the former Everton boss was unceremoniously sacked.

It was always going to be a mightily difficult task to replace the Premier League’s greatest ever manager.

Louis van Gaal and Jose Mourinho haven’t fared much better in the Old Trafford hotseat since.

Former Man United midfielder Michael Carrick hung up his boots last summer, immediately joining Mourinho’s coaching staff.

He released his autobiography this week and recounted what Moyes told the Man United players in one of his first meetings.

“I got on fine with David,” Carrick writes in Between the Lines. “Never had a bad word with him, never fell out with him.

“He arrived full of energy and ideas for how to improve us.

“I remember at one of his first meetings, David said to us, ‘I believe I can make you better. I know you won the league last year and I’ve obviously been watching you. I can make you run more.’

“Being fair to David, he was looking for a chink, like what needed improving and where we were weak, so that he could take us to another level.

“I just think what he said didn’t come across the right way.”

Not exactly inspiring – and you would imagine it didn’t go down well in a dressing room full of Premier League champions.

Carrick continued: “We’d just won the Premier League by 11 points, scored 11 goals more than anybody else, and won a lot of games as well, with scores like 3-0, 4-0.

“Our running stats were never that big anyway but we came from behind to claim 29 points that season so we must have been fairly fit, as well as committed. Our capacity for late goals under Sir Alex showed our endurance physically as well as mentally.

“David was right that in terms of ‘distance covered’ we weren’t one of the top sides in the Premier League.

“But if you look back over the years, all the good years, teams might come to Old Trafford and run a lot more than us, but quite often we ended up winning 2-0, 3-0 or 4-0. Under Sir Alex, we were very efficient with the ball.”

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